Jane's Shell

Jane’s Shell

The unplanned photograph and the fleeting moment – priceless!

At dusk one winter’s day in Galveston, I witnessed how simple things, right in front of us, give joy – regardless of what we are facing in our lives.

As a special friend was facing her last weeks on earth due to her failing heart, a visit to the beach near her home seemed in order.  Bless the firmly packed sand that allowed me to drive right to the water’s edge, for with only the energy to walk about ten steps, she could ease into her own treasured space there.  I stood back, silently, as she stretched her arms wide toward the sky.  Breathing deeply, savoring the salt air and the scene she loved so much, knowing this would probably be her last visit to her own outdoor spiritual sanctuary, she remained motionless, in silent communication with God.

Moments later, as she turned toward the car, a wee shell the size of a half-dollar caught her attention.  Evening’s light penetrated the sea foam bubbles within, making them sparkle in colorful tones.  She paused, studied it for a few minutes, then exclaimed in awe, “How absolutely lovely!”    She stood for another moment, mesmerized, then with a satisfied glow surrounding her demeanor, turned to take her seat for the short ride home.

Even near the end of her life, my astute friend with an artist’s eye could, without pity for her circumstances, notice and take joy from something as small and relatively insignificant as a wee shell full of bubbles.